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On this edition of the NOLADrinks Show with Bryan Dias, we feature several interviews with various food vendors participating in this year’s 35th annual French Quarter Festival. The fest is a world-class music event that is quickly becoming a noted food and drink happening as well. We also discuss this weekend’s second annual Bloody Mary Festival and the 10th annual Hogs for the Cause, a terrific event that raises over a million dollars for families victimized by pediatric brain cancer.

Pictured above – some of the food that will be featured at French Quarter Festival 2018.

The NOLADrinks Show – 3-22-18 – French Quarter Fest Food – Bloody Mary Fest – Hogs for the Cause

We start things off setting up today’s show. We also mention the interesting and widely diverse Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival enjoying it’s 32nd year here in New Orleans. We mention our recent attendance at St. Joseph’s Night in the Treme that featured downtown Mardi Gras Indians and others connected to the culture. The second line and procession ended at the Backstreet Cultural Museum. We note the passing of Saints and Pelicans owner, Tom Benson. Lastly, we touch on the tabling of and other thoughts on the ill-advised, proposed surveillance camera measure for venues that serve alcohol.

We then get into our featured interviews where we chat with various food vendors who will be serving up great eats at this year’s French Quarter Festival. Not only is it a wonderful music festival (the best on the planet IMHO!), but it’s also becoming a special event for lovers of food and drink, too. Many of the vendors, often local New Orleans restaurants, have been participating in the festival for years. They view it not only as a great way to connect with folks, but also as an important part of our local cultural.

In the first round, we chat with Troy Roth of the Rib Room, Bryant Wheat of Mrs. Wheat’s Meatpies, and Jeff Levy of Lakeview Harbor (that is about to announce their new location, after closing at the original, soon.) Following that, we talk with Ralph Pausina of Creole Cuisine Restaurant Concepts that operates several spots in town and will have Royal House and Flamingo A-Go-Go at the fest.

Lastly, we close out these interviews with Dwight Henry, proprietor of Wink’s Buttermilk Drop Bakery. Not only is Dwight the owner of the bakery, but also a major film actor having starred in such films as Beasts of the Southern Wild and 12 Years a Slave. We talk about his acting career, but also how important his bakery and participating in the culture of New Orleans is.

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We round out the show talking about two great festival taking place in town this weekend. First, we discuss the 2nd annual Bloody Mary Festival, where I will have the honor of judging. We also touch on the murky history of the drink. Then, we talk about Hogs for the Cause, now in it’s 10th year. What started as a casual cook-off among friends created to have fun, good food, and raise a little money for charity has grown into something much more. Last year, it raised over $1.3 million in support of families victimized by pediatric brain cancer. This year’s event, at the UNO Lakefront, will feature 85 BBQ teams competing, live music, and lots of great local beer!

Below the map (coming soon) that shows some of the spots we discussed, you can subscribe to, stream, and download the NOLADrinks Show with Bryan podcast on your favorite platform…

Cheers, You All!

~ Bryan